Raro is designed to be experienced as an immersive performance/installation, where the duration of the performative aspect of the piece is approximately 30 minutes, though the installation can be expanded to the length of the evening, or even longer, for that matter. Originally selected for display at the 2011 Costa Rican Biennial, this specific interpretation will address humanity’s relationship with nature, mutation, industrialization and the interrelationships therein.

With Raro we will attempt to combine sound, sculpture, and live animation performance, with the intended commentaries of “normal” vs. “abomination,” “organic” vs. “synthetic” and their relationship with the human experience. For the installation aspect of the performance, we will construct five sculptures of medium format, whose forms are reminiscent of anthropomorphic shapes found in nature; designed to invoke both a sense of childhood curiosity, as well as promote questions regarding their intended origins – for instance, if this is a case of mankind’s attempt to imitate nature, or vice versa. Or for that matter, are these forms something else – such the ramifications of the industrial encroachment on nature, a mutation, or even a sign of some sort of cooperative evolution. Each sculpture, constructed from soft fabric will be equipped with a small speaker to facilitate the localization of sound during the installation and performance. The sounds, derived from both “organic” and “synthetic” sources, will be set to play randomly, further facilitating dialogue regarding the origins of their species. For the performance aspect of the project, the dialogue between creatures will be moderated by way of the human performers, interjecting their own voices into the piece to help steer the resultant conversation to a potentially logical conclusion.

Ideally, the installation will be made available for the public to interact with before and after the performance, which will consist of a semi-improvised live animation and soundtrack created in real time and intended to provide further clarity, as well as a narrative regarding the mythological origins of the sculptures. For the animation, derived via the digital processing of still images in a fashion similar to traditional stop-motion animation, both the sculptures, as well as the organic forms on which they were based will be combined to reflect their potential “humanity” as the animator explores their world and relationships in an anthropological fashion, documenting their customs and habits, as well as their conflicts and potential destruction. Similarly, the performers will also attempt to sonically communicate with these creations, using whatever devices they deem appropriate, if any, for effective dialogue. Ideally, while designed to arrive at an open-ended conclusion, the audience should be able to come to their own conclusions regarding the outcome of this performative exploration.

Exhibition History

  • 11.07.2011 – Galeria Nacional, San José, Costa Rica. Premier of Raro, a site-specific performance/installation presented as part of the 2011 Costa Rican Arts Biennial.
  • 07.27.2012 – The Lab, San Francisco, Ca. Performance/installation of Raro as part of the 2012 Soundwave 5 Humanities Art and Music Biennial.
  • 01.15.2013 – Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Panamá City, Panamá. Installation of Raro as part of the 2013 Bienal de Artes Visuales de Istmo Centroamericano.
  • 02.23.2013 – Alianza Francesa, Guatemala City, Guatemala. Performance of Raro as part of the Forma y Sustancia Festival Internacional de Performance.



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